Apologies have done little to lessen the grief of a mother who learned when police contacted her on Facebook that her son had died in a car accident in Clayton County.
Anna Lamb-Creasey told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she had no idea Clayton County police investigators were trying to reach her to tell her that her 30-year-old son, Ricky Lamb, had died when he was hit by a car trying to cross Tara Boulevard around 11 p.m on Jan. 24.
Investigators sent a message to a box called “other” in her message folder. When she did find it weeks after it was sent, Lamb-Creasey didn’t think it was a legitimate message because it was from a “Misty Hancock” and contained a photo of Atlanta rapper T.I.
“I had no idea who that was, and I certainly didn’t think it was from any police department,” said Lamb-Creasey, who lives in Alpharetta.
Her daughter got the message, too, and finally opened it — 20 days after Ricky Lamb was killed.
“At the end of the day, Facebook helped me find my son, but police could have done a better job of finding me,” said the tearful mother. She said at the time of her son’s death, she was moving from Suwanee to Alpharetta, but she still worked at the same place. “They could have checked with my job.”
Clayton County police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Hughes said police tried “every way that we could to reach the family through conventional means, but we were unsuccessful. The young man didn’t have current identification to help us to reach his family.”
He said he didn’t know why police used the “Misty Hancock” profile when it reached out to Lamb-Creasey.
“I don’t know why they did that,” he said. “That website is used by detectives when they’re doing investigations.”
He said Clayton County police reached out to other police agencies in the cities where they believed Lamb’s family lived, but weren’t able to find family members through those agencies.
Hughes said, despite this incident, the Clayton County police department planned to make more use of social media to reach people in the event of such incidents.
“Facebook is a tool that can definitely help police,” he said.
He said Chief Greg Porter had spoken with Lamb-Creasey to express apologies for the Facebook incident.
But Lamb-Creasey said she still had a lot of unanswered questions as she prepares to hold services on Saturday for her son, who is father to three young children.
“I don’t even have a police report yet,” she said. “It should not have taken 20 days for them to reach me.”
The members of the state ethics commission, eager to bring order to one of the most disordered corners of state government, hired a “receiver” last week to heal their agency and then did they only thing they could.
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